Overlooking the glistening waters of Lake Thun, Spiez is an attractive town in the Bernese Oberland region that’s renowned for its sunny weather. It’s home to a magnificent castle and surrounded by vineyards while being backed by the pyramid-shaped mountain summit of Niesen.
Things to do in Spiez
Dominating the waterfront is Spiez Castle, which has a fascinating history dating back to the 10th century. You can learn about the life of knight Adrian von Bubenberg in the castle’s exhibition rooms and stroll through the landscaped grounds, then climb the town for 360-degree views across Lake Thun. Also not to miss is the Spiez Toy Museum, which showcases vintage toys, teddy bears and model trains from 1850 to 1950.
On the opposite side of Lake Thun is Oberhofen Castle, which is surrounded by one of the most scenic castle parks in the Swiss Alps. Wander between the Neo-Gothic dining room and the Turkish smoking parlour before admiring the 15th-century wall paintings in the castle chapel. Oberhofen Castle also houses exhibits detailing Bernese culture from the 16th to 19th centuries.
Rising in a near-perfect pyramid shape behind Spiez is Niesen, which offers sweeping views across the Bernese Alps and the Simmen Valley from its top. Ride the funicular railway that leads from Mülenen to the 2,362-metre summit, then dine at the historic mountain restaurant. Keen runners can coincide their visit with the Niesenlauf, which involves scaling 11,674 stairs up the world’s longest stairway.
Getting around Spiez
Spiez is around 15 minutes’ drive from Thun and 30 minutes from Bern and Bern Airport. The much larger Geneva International Airport is two hours away. Trains connect to Spiez railway station and buses travel throughout the town. The centre of Spiez is compact enough to explore on foot.